This is one of the most difficult articles I had to write. I have written many articles on how to manage others, but managing oneself is a bit different. To begin with, each of us is a different and unique individual who will approach life in our individual way. So, are there any general principles that perhaps apply to each of us,
Yes, fortunately there are. More than this in a moment. But first, let me explain the reason for this article. I was asked by Colin, who was about to become a new manager, what he should do when he took on his new role. Having seen many new managers over the years and trained several, I know the role of the new manager is challenging. Suddenly, you went from being a technical or professional expert in whom you knew most of the answers and how to really solve problems, becoming an expert manager of people. Well, that’s what most people around you expect you to be – and generally right away! Colin was worried because the previous person in the role had not been very successful as a manager and as one of the brightest people in society in the organization, great things were expected from Colin.
Here is the advice I gave Colin. If you are a new manager, it could be useful for you too. . .
1. Monitor working hours.
Set a limit and stick to it. It’s very easy to get sucked into working longer and longer just because you’re new to the role and you have so much to learn. The law of diminishing returns will begin to kick off after a certain period of time at work, that is, the longer you work, the less you will be able to achieve. Much better to work more effectively in less hours. Be especially wary if you hear things like “Well, I’m just new in the role, so I probably have to spend more time”.
You should also plan the order in which you do things every day. For example, most people think that doing their e-mails the first thing in the morning is a good use of time – take them out of the way so you can get on with your work. Mistaken! Research suggests that for two thirds of the population, the morning is the most creative moment. If you’re in this group, then wasting creative time in a trivial business like e-mails means you’ll be less effective in the long run. When you finally get all these emails every morning, your creativity to solve problems and make decisions has vanished. It is also a well-known fact that for most people immediately after lunch it is the least productive moment of the day. This is the best time to deal with e-mails.
2. Recognize and manage your signs of stress.
Each of us has different reactions to stress. Unfortunately, when we are stressed, we often do not realize it until it becomes too late and we get sick or seriously affect our performance.
There are four factors that will help you identify when you are stressed; your thoughts, actions, physical symptoms and emotions.
• Are your thoughts more negative than usual, for example. “I can not do it” or “I’ve always misunderstood”.
• Are your actions somehow different, for example. Avoid things you should do or lack of coordination.
• Does your body respond differently to pressure, for example. A running heart, quick breathing or sweating more than usual.
• Have your feelings changed lately, for example. Do you feel panic, anger, irritability, fear more easily,
To help you recognize some of these factors, it can be helpful to get help. Find someone who knows you and ask them to give you feedback at least every two weeks on how you feel you are facing. If you are starting to show some of these signs of stress, then you must act (seek a balance between intellectual, physical and emotional activities later in this article).
3. Learn to delegate.
Failure to delegate is the most common failure of new managers. For managers, there are two key aspects to successful delegation:
• Having people to whom you can delegate, and
• Selection of the most appropriate activities to be delegated
The key to delegating is to develop within people, “the initiative to act” so that they learn to develop their skills and knowledge to their fullest potential. When your parents have a problem with which they want help, encourage them to come to you with their recommended solutions, not just the problem. If they have no solution, make sure they come to you at least with an action plan to find a solution (which by the way, should not be based on asking yourself).
Secondly, to draw up a list of things that can be delegated, then decide who is best delegated to them. Who is ready, Who needs further development,
4. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
This means regular meetings with: • your team members • your boss.
It also means talking about work issues with a partner, friend or trusted colleague (from another area) on a regular basis to give you feedback on how well you are communicating.
At a very basic level, this also means responding to e-mails on the same day. If you can not completely reply to an email, then send an answer to say it has been received. One of the criteria on which every manager is judged is their ability and willingness to communicate.
5. Praise and recognize regularly.
Also “Thanks” is important. Look for the things that people are doing well and give it. If appropriate for the person, also give public recognition. Of all the motivational tools you have at your disposal, this is by far the simplest and cheapest, but it brings the greatest profits.
6. Focus on what’s important, not what’s urgent.
In particular, talk to your manager about the three most important priorities that he / she has for you in your role. Be sure to focus on these at all times.
7. Make sure you have a balance between intellectual, physical and emotional activities.
While people differ greatly in their biorhythms (the way we handle our mental, physical and emotional makeup), each of us needs to manage these three. Of all the points raised, this is probably the most important. From my work in sports psychology, I know that successful athletes are particularly good at maintaining a balance between these three. The same applies to effective managers.
What does this mean for the new manager, The implementation of the actions in relation to the six previous steps is a good start. Furthermore, I would like to suggest:
• Intellectual. Perform a regular mental activity such as reading a good book, watching a film, learning a new language or starting a creative hobby like painting.
• Physical: make sure you have a training regimen that keeps you physically fit. This does not have to be tiring, but it must challenge you. See also your diet.
• Emotional: take care to interact regularly with the special people in your life – take time for them. He also thinks about building new relationships with people outside of work.
Finally, find a mentor. This should be someone who has been or is a successful manager. Without exception, the most successful managers I have met tell me that they have someone they often trust or whose help they seek when faced with a new challenge. Meet regularly with him or her to discuss your problems, challenges and ways you can learn and develop. Do not expect a tutor to have all the answers, but it can be very useful for bouncing ideas. Speaking from personal experience as a manager and consultant for over 30 years, I keep calling my mentor Dennis from time to time for his advice. Do you have any questions for me or someone who could be your mentor,
Now I’m really glad that Collin has asked his question about me that led me to struggle to write this article and in the process, extending my intellectual capacity. For me, I’m going to do some exercise and then later tonight for a relaxing dinner with my wife.
Copyright (c) 2007 The National Learning Institute